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Taking care of last wishes

LAST WISHES: FINANCIAL PLANNING, WILL PLANNING AND FUNERAL PLANNING IN SINGAPORE

By Alfred Chia, Rayney Wong, Darren Cheng and Jenny Tay
Self-published/Paperback/157 pages/$25 before GST
Available at major bookstores

WHAT'S THE BOOK ABOUT?

This book - the first of its kind here - aims to educate readers on financial planning and legacy planning, and provides advice on what to do when death occurs.

It is the result of a collaboration between SingCapital chief executive Alfred Chia, lawyer Rayney Wong from Vision Law and Mr Darren Cheng and Ms Jenny Tay, who run Direct Funeral Services.

Nothing is as certain as death and taxes. The authors believe that when you face the taboo topic of death directly, you will better appreciate and enjoy your life with your loved ones. After all, we spend much time planning for our wedding, graduation, children's birthdays, anniversaries, and so on. So why not our death?

Besides learning how to create and grow our nest egg, it is timely that we ponder seriously about our last wishes concerning our legacy. This book will be your compass for that thinking process.

EIGHT KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. Good estate planning will help keep the value of your estate intact, distribute assets quickly and allow you to take proper care of your family. After a lifetime of carefully growing your estate, you should just as carefully state what should be done with your estate.

2. Understand what can or cannot be distributed via a will. For example, most of your Central Provident Fund (CPF) assets can be distributed only via CPF nomination.

3. Deciding the distribution of your estate while you are still alive and thinking clearly will make the lives of your loved ones easier when you are no longer around.

4. Understand what are revocable and irrevocable insurance nominations.

5. It is prudent to work out how much you have and how much you need. How much is enough so that your family can continue their current way of life? A financial plan helps you to close the gap.

6. Learn how to use a trust to cater to special needs, such as providing for children with special needs.

7. Understand the consequences if a person dies without a will.

8. Know that there are different aspects and logistics of life's final event - the departure from this world - and plan for it. For example, deciding between burial and cremation, what music to be played during the funeral, and so on.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 10, 2017, with the headline 'Taking care of last wishes'. Print Edition | Subscribe